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When to leave the house?

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

I just had my first chemo treatment, and was wondering when it was safe to actually leave the house, I'm really scared of getting infections, and don't have a germ mask on me, but I actually feel good for once where I may want to take my kids to a movie, is it ok to leave the house after the chemo treatment? I was just unhooked on Friday. I'm sorry if this seems like such a dumb question..But I'm nervous...

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Just keep your hands to yourself and wash often! Keep your hands away from your face, and make sure your kids are real conscientious about that too! I never wore a germ mask, but when I went grocery shopping, I brought my daughter along so SHE could handle the cart and the food and the checkout. Remember, you are getting treated to live!
mary

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

for your immune system.

Even with that, just be careful. I worked thru my entire treatment...I was just careful to find out if people around were sick, even in the stores. I even went to Holland during this time.

Just listen and watch for snuffers and slurpers...

Kathi

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

Check with your oncologist. Some patients have to be careful of germs and their counts. I never wore a mask when I went out. For some patients the Dr will tell you to take precautions. I also did not stay out of the sun during treatment, I did yard work, some physically demanding stuff. God bless.

CherylHutch's picture
CherylHutch
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Best rule of thumb is to check with your oncologist. He/she will know what to suggest to you on a personal, individual basis... which may or may not be different from what our oncs suggest to us. They take into account the usual suggestions that are given to everyone as well as what dosage of treatment you have been given and your health/medical history. A combination of a lot of things.

I was given the talk to "be careful". Don't hang out at hospitals or places where people are known to be sick. If I had the choice, take my own car instead of public transport (although I did take public transport on occasion, I was just careful to keep some antiseptic handi-wipes in my purse for my hands after getting off the bus).

After you are given the ok from your Onc... pack yourself a little "precaution" kit in your purse. A pack of antiseptic handi-wipes come in handy for more than just your hands... they are excellent for wiping the handle of a grocery store shopping cart. A small purse-size bottle of Purcell (or any brand) hand sanitizer gel so you don't have to depend on a public restroom to have soap or gel available. Be aware of people around you. If they are sniffling, sneezing, coughing... move away and don't for a minute think you are being rude to do so. Heck, even if one isn't on chemo, it's best to move away from people who don't think and are out spreading their germs around.

If you are overall healthy, chances are you aren't going to have a problem at all, but you do want to take precautions because your immune system is vulnerable during treatment. But the benefits of getting out of the house and doing "normal" things are extremely good for you. I went to a lot of movies, and got right back into my normal activities... when I wasn't fatigued. That's another key... if you are tired, don't push it... your immune system will be down when you are tired. But if you are feeling good, then by all means, don't become a hermit :)

Hugggggs,

Donna

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

I got some advice from my doc.....she said definitely no hospital emergency waiting rooms....where you know everyone is sick. No waiting rooms for the GP...again everyone is sick. Grocery carts and key pads are full of germs....swipe them down with a wipe and I am avoiding the movie theatre....small places with lots of people jammed in.

Donna I really hope this next round is easier on you
Take best Care
Mags

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

just a comment about movie theatres. Go to a matinee for a movie that children won't be attending and you stand a very good chance of getting a seat with no one around. I always go all the way to the top, and when you are worried about germs, you certainly won't have anybody coughing on you up there!
mary

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2596
Joined: Jun 2006

I like that Mary...good thinking.

Mags

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Thanks! I sit in the back pew at church for the same reason! No one coughing behind me. Of course, that began after sitting in the 2nd to the last pew and having a family purposely sit in the back row because their kid was hacking up a storm, and he was RIGHT BEHIND ME!!!!! What were they thinking?!
mary

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I used to go out of the house as soon as I felt like it -- I usually had pretty bad cabin fever! Others have given good suggestions about avoiding very crowded places and 'high risk' places. Also carrying antiseptic handwipes. I didn't wear a mask (except one time, when my blood counts were low). I also based a little on my blood counts -- when my white cell count was very low, I had to be a bit more careful (no movies). Good luck.

Tara

pamness
Posts: 514
Joined: Nov 2007

I made it through 18 months without a cold, flue - or a face mask. I washed my hands before eating, after being out - whenever. I also carried antibacterial hand wash and sprays.

I stayed away from crowded movies, etc. and just paid attention.

It worked. Ask you oncologist for suggestions.

Pam

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

Thanks for all the suggestions! I went to the movies and actually it was very dead, hardly anyone there, until some guys sat behind us, and midway through the movie, I heard one of them start coughing,(sounded more like a smoker's cough) but anyway, I immediately took out these napkins I stuffed in my pocket from the popcorn dressing table, and kept it over my nose and mouth until the movie was over, and everyone left. It was nice getting out, made me abit more "ungroggy", nice fresh air.

I do use those antiseptic handsoaps and have lots of Purell around the house, and in my jacket pocket and in my purse, I have always been one who likes to wash my hands alot anyway, I just do it more often now :)

My onc said it was ok to get out, just like you all said, she just said to "use common sense" when next to coughers, sniffers and all that, don't be around too many sick people, it's so good coming here to you all, I love the advice I get from here :)

Hugggsss to you all,
~Donna

daydreamer110761's picture
daydreamer110761
Posts: 497
Joined: Dec 2008

There is no way I could survive this without being able to do things! I still go to the casino, probably a bad idea, but I'm ok so far. i went to the movies a few times, and once had bad bathroom problems (thank goodness for so many trailers, I didn't miss the movie before the meds kicked in!) I just sat close to the door and could run without bothering anyone. We try to go during times when there shouldn't be many people there.

I have learned that one of the hardest things is grocery shopping tho - alone - somedays it's hard to pick anything up in there, and you feel funny wearing gloves while picking up meat, but oh well..

I carry alcohol wipes and plenty of hand sanitizer, and always have napkins in my pockets and purse! so far so good. Hey ya gotta live life as normal as you can, otherwise we'd all just be nuts!

By the way - today is the start of your #2, isn't it? how'd it go? How are you feeling?

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

I'm fortunately on Foxfilri, where I don't have that cold sensitivity, that must be difficult anyway just not being able to have a cold drink or ice cream, but going to the movies was a nice release, and I haven't been out since, but making plans to go out this weekend, since my hubby and I's birthdays fall on the same day, it was yesterday, and the kids were upset that we didn't do anything then, but they understand the week I have chemo is the week where I have to take it easy now, and actually I go back on Feb 25 for round #2, I get it once every 2 weeks, so every other Wednesday, and then unhooked from the pump on Friday, and then spending the rest of the days trying to bounce back :)

The chemo nurse called today for a follow-up to make sure I did ok with the chemo, I guess they'll be calling every week to check up on me, told her about the awful nausea I had and they are going to give me something else on top of the 2 anti-nauseas meds I have now, she said she promises they will not have that happen again, they don't like hearing about people going through that I guess, but glad that they'll be giving me something else, I was getting really scared to go through that again, and get that fierce nausea, it was so bad I was crawling all over the floors..

Fortunately, my kids go everywhere with me, and they like grocery shopping, so at least now they are pushing the carts, I point to what I want, and they grab it...they actually have fun doing that lol...

Talk about bathroom issues... sheesh, I just started getting this awful diarrhea, it like came out of nowhere yesterday, so been taking some Immodium-AD, I was warned by the home health nurse that I may get it, and she told me to get it, so glad I was prepared for it.. yikes!

And you're right, we do have to live normally, the nurse told me not to become a hermit as well, but just be careful.

msccolon's picture
msccolon
Posts: 1956
Joined: Oct 2004

Be careful you don't let that go, it can get bad and you can wind up needing fluids! I got to where I was taking the Lomotil when the rumblings started, trying to head it off before it got to be too bad. Then, they added the Sandostatin and it helped a lot more. I also had hyocyamine to help when the diarrhea got REALLY bad. Just wanted to comment. The immodium might not do it, but they have meds that work better. I'm glad to hear you mentioned the nausea to the nurse and they plan on giving you more meds; they don't want that side effect cause you're gonna stop going for treatment! Your next treatment will be much better I am sure, stay strong!
mary

ldot123's picture
ldot123
Posts: 276
Joined: Apr 2008

Hi there,

I went out all the time and did not have any issues and actually even worked through most of it. I did not have the same chemo as you though. You can always ask your oncologist. I think you do have to be careful - wash your hands after you have been out and so on.

Lance

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